Doesn’t just that title alone make your mouth water? It sure does mine.
Before I started this diet, I had a standard sweet potato recipe that I made every Thanksgiving. I loved it for its simplicity, but it had brown sugar in it, so I decided to switch things around a bit to make it “legal.”
Well, folks, this is one of the few times in which I can honestly say that the revised version of this recipe is actually BETTER than the original sugary one. That has only been the case once before so far (the Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream). So I can absolutely, whole-heartedly tell you that these sweet potatoes are simply fantastic! They’re subtly sweet, with the maple syrup and apple cider complementing the sweetness of the potatoes instead of overwhelming it like the sugar used to. The butter also goes together marvelously with the syrup, and butter is always wonderful with sweet potatoes anyway. I find myself wondering why I didn’t ALWAYS use maple syrup instead of brown sugar!
Technically, maple syrup is something you need to be careful about eating, because it’s still a sweetener, but the amount in this recipe is very small compared to how many potatoes there are. It adds a bit of flavor and sweetness, but you don’t end up eating a lot – probably no more than a teaspoon at the most, and that’s only if you spoon a lot of sauce over top. So, despite the syrup, these are really pretty safe. But, as always, if you find that you personally are very sensitive to sweeteners, then consume with caution!
The best thing about this recipe (besides it tasting fab) is that it’s incredibly simple. When I’m planning a large meal like Thanksgiving, I usually prepare these the day ahead, and then put them in the oven to bake after I take the turkey out of the oven.
Start with about 6 large sweet potatoes. I like to use organic if I can find them, because potatoes are one of the worst foods as far as pesticides go (since they grow in the ground they soak all the pesticides in.) But use whatever you want. Peel and chop them into roughly same-sized pieces, and put them in a pot and cover them with cold water.
Boil the potatoes until they’re cooked through and tender, about 5-10 minutes (depending on how small you cut your potatoes.)
Spoon the potatoes into a large casserole dish, and top with pieces of salted butter (pasture butter is especially yummy if you can get it!). Sprinkle some cinnamon on top. I usually also put in chopped toasted pecans at this point, but I forgot this time.
Combine about 1/3 cup real maple syrup and 1/2 cup apple cider – the unfiltered kind, not clear apple juice. I like to use the Spiced Apple Cider that Trader Joe’s sells because it adds some extra flavor, but you can use whatever apple cider you like.
Mix it together well with a spoon, and then pour all over the top of the potatoes.
All this can be done ahead of time. I get it out of the way early when I’m making a large meal so that all I have to do in the last minutes before the meal is done is stick it in the oven.
So, when you’re ready, put them in the oven for 15 – 30 minutes. If they’ve been in the refrigerator waiting, it will take closer to 30 minutes, but if they’re still warm or room temperature it’ll only be about 15. You basically want the butter to all melt and the juices to be all nice and bubbly.
Dish it up, and be sure to spoon extra buttery, mapley sauce over top!
This will probably be the last sweet potato recipe you’ll ever need. Much better than sickly sweet marshmallow versions that are out there, and delicious with natural, whole-food flavors of butter, maple syrup, apple cider, and cinnamon. Seriously – what can be better than THAT?!
Buttery Maple-Cider Sweet Potatoes
- 6-8 large sweet potatoes
- 1 stick salted butter, cold
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider
- Handful of toasted, chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into roughly same size pieces. Put them in a pot, cover them with cold water, and then boil until the potatoes are cooked and tender. (About 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.) When the potatoes are done, drain the water and spoon them into a large casserole dish. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and place them evenly over the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the top, and add the pecans if you’re using them. Combine the maple syrup and apple cider and mix together well, then pour over the top of the potatoes. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Note: These can be done ahead of time easily. If preparing the day ahead, simply cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. If the potatoes are cold out of the refrigerator, increase baking time to 30 minutes.